Pay attention to your thoughts. They are the beginning of your deeds. (Buddha)
This is often referred to as the key to happiness: be careful. But what does mindfulness mean? How can you learn or practice mindfulness? How can you incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life and thus become more present and relaxed? You can find out all of this in this article.
What does mindfulness mean?
Think and think about your environment for a short moment - how many times have you noticed that your fellow human beings are wondering that you want to change something in your life in terms of external circumstances or your current attitude to life. Mindfulness has become a catchphrase in relation to topics such as quality of life and reducing stress over the past few years. The thought behind it is several thousand years old. Originally, many exercises on mindfulness come from Buddhism.
Mindfulness is the conscious perception and the impartial experience of the current moment with everything that happens around you: thoughts, emotions, sensory impressions, physical processes. The basis for mindfulness is the ability to deliberately draw your own attention to the present moment. You are present for the current moment and leave no thoughts, considerations or reviews overlap this immediate experience. But mindfulness is by no means a quick technology or a simple recipe to guarantee his luck in a few steps. Rather, mindfulness is about changing perspectives, being in contact with yourself and the environment. To do this, you have to be ready to get involved with something new.
Can everyone live carefully?
We can basically be careful, because mindfulness is naturally in each of us. Only our hectic and overloaded life often seems exactly opposite and we sink full of appointments and stress in our fully packed everyday life. Our lifestyle seduces us to do several things at the same time and have always been two thoughts ahead. As a result, our ability to consciously experience the current moment is becoming more and more lost. The result of this condition is stress, hectic pace and dissatisfaction. In the long term, this lifestyle can even make us sick.
Effects of mindfulness
Therefore, it is all the more important to remember that we can all be careful and thus effectively reduce stress, support our health and bring our own life into balance. Many scientific studies show that mindfulness has numerous positive effects on health. In addition to an increase in self -confidence, greater stress resistance, more concentration and openness or empathy towards fellow human beings, more positive thoughts as well as more patience have proven positive effects of mindfulness. All in all, a mindful life ensures overall stable mental health and an improved quality of life.
How can you learn mindfulness and what is behind mindfulness training?
In the first step, it is of course important to read something about mindfulness. However, in order to learn or practice mindfulness so that something changes, it is more part of it - experiencing mindfulness. You practice full attention to a moment.
In a certain way, mindfulness training is comparable to muscle training, because every time the attention is paid to the current moment, the mindfulness muscle is tightening. The more mindfulness exercises are carried out, the stronger the mindfulness and the easier it will be present at the present moment. Of course there are major differences between muscles and mindfulness - the mindset is relatively insignificant when training muscle training. In the case of mindfulness training, on the other hand, concentration and inner attitude are decisive factors.
Basic attitudes of mindfulness
In order to be able to practice mindfulness, certain internal attitudes are fundamental. It has to be developed and internalized over time and they will help you on your way to a mindful life.
Accept what is there
The ability to accept everything that life brings you is an important basic attitude of mindfulness. So you can consciously encounter situations that are different than desired, consciously, do not simply displace them and develop solutions in this way. Note that this acceptance should not be confused with a passive attitude to endure everything.
Be open to what the moment brings without starting with fixed expectations. This allows you to record every experience and notice any kind of experience, no matter what it looks like.
do not judge
Remove from the habit of comparing yourself to others to avoid dissatisfaction or excessive pride. The more we compare and evaluate, the automatic cases we have judgments that are no longer aware of and we lose a reference to reality. So let go of reviews.
Do not intend to
Mindfulness training is about the simple in the here and now. So during the exercises, let your everyday goals, the result of which you work, aside and focus on the current moment.
Regular mindfulness training will help you to notice better and better what is really good for you. Your trust in yourself increases.
Change takes time. So make yourself aware that every single exercise on mindfulness is valuable and effective.
Do not displace, but solve you from past experiences, insults, missed opportunities and all the things you are doing with you. This is how you win space for the experience of the current moment.
3 mindfulness exercises
One of the most important aspects of mindfulness is breathing, because consciously breathing can have astonishing effects. Basically, you can practice the mindful breathing in every posture, whether sitting, lying, standing, standing or walking. A seating position is certainly the easiest for starting. Find a place where you feel comfortable and where you can sit upright and relaxed. Now close your eyes, breathe in and out and deliberately feel the process of inhaling and exhaling. You don't need to change your breath, not deeper of the slower than usual. Put your full attention to breathing - feel every drain, any lifting or reduction of your breast and your abdominal blanket. You can also put a hand on your stomach to feel the movements even more clearly. Experience and enjoy every breath. End the exercise after a few minutes by gently opening your eyes again.
Through mindful breathing, the breath often becomes deeper, which automatically becomes calmer and more relaxed. You also train seriousness and patience by conscious perception of breath and can reduce stress within a short time. Above all, however, you practice the central idea of mindfulness training - to draw attention to the experience of the current moment.
Bodyscan - explore the body from the inside
Change of perspective with a millennium -old meditation technology - the bodyscan. Starting on the toes, you gradually feel into all areas of the body with your perception. It is about being aware of whatever there. So you perceive your own body sensations and can experience a closer connection with your body over time. With regular exercise, the condition is familiar to you and you can also fall back on it in everyday life.
At the bodyscan in the back, lie on the floor on your back and position your arms next to your body or on your stomach. Breathe in and close your eyes. Take notice how your body touches the floor and feel your breath. Start at your right foot, feel it in it and hike with your perception over each individual joint to the hip, from there in the left foot and then further up, over your back and stomach, the neck up to yours Face and the highest point of your head. Explore every body area with your perception and perceive all sensations. With an inhalation you open your eyes again.
Find inner freedom with hello
The 5 letters of the word hello offer you an easy way to pause again and again every day and find your inner middle. The overall exercise does not take longer than 30-40 seconds. Allow yourself to allow yourself about 10 times a day.
H - stop
Say to yourself: "Stop!" And pause for a moment. So get out of the feeling of being driven.
A - breathe
The transition from pausing to breathing is seamless. Consciously breathe in and deliberately treat yourself to a breath. By conscious breathing, you can get in touch with yourself immediately and it grounds you.
L - let
Don't change anything for a moment and leave the situation as it is. Just be there for a moment.
Due to the moment of simple being there, a width can arise in you that produces a smile. This smile does not have to be perceptible from the outside. It can only sit in your corners of the eye. As soon as the little muscles relax on the corner of the eye, a lot of people experience a feeling of relaxation and well -being. It is an inner smile as an appreciation towards yourself.
O - become open
The previous steps of the exercise bring you back to yourself. You are present again. Open yourself from here from the present moment and meet life as it is evident. Consciously notice what you see and feel at this moment without expecting anything specific.
Templary ideas for your everyday life
Here are a few more ideas that can help you in everyday life.
Dive briefly from your automatisms again and again and make you aware of what you do at this moment, even if they are small things, such as cutting vegetables, walk up the stairs or send an email. Making this consciously is comparable to a snapshot of what you are experiencing and your life does not rush past you. You will feel more clearly what you experience and feel alive.
That sounds strange at first. Don't we usually always shower alone? Most of us are already in thoughts when showering, to work, to-dos or in customer discussions instead of putting your attention entirely to the current moment-the pleasantly tempered water that runs over the body. Enjoy your shower and experience the moment.
Go new ways
Escape from your automatisms. For example, make a small detour on the way to work. Ride a different street by bike and discover something new or take the country road instead of the highway and discover nature. Stroll through your neighborhood or your village and consciously perceive it. So you look at houses and places that you have never seen before.
Mindfulness also plays an important role in nutrition. Do you often snack without thinking about it or eat something sweet out of habit after every lunch? If you want to eat more consciously, get to know your feeling of hunger and satiety and take out bad eating habits, a juice cure is the perfect start. Use the juice cure on your way to a healthier & conscious me ➤ 3.5 or 7 days of juice cure
Further information and exercises on mindfulness & mindfulness training can be found, for example, in the sources of our contribution:
Eßwein, J. T. (2010): Mindfulness training. Gräfe and Unzer Verlag, Munich.
Furtmeier, K. & Mayer, H. (2016): Now! Mindfulness, yoga, trust in life. Scorpio Verlag, Munich.